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Israel accused of barring ill Gaza civilians

Click here: Sydney Morning Herald – Israel accused of barring ill Gaza civilians

ISRAELI agents are arbitrarily citing security concerns to prevent seriously ill Gaza civilians from obtaining medical treatment in Israel, rights groups charge.An Israeli newspaper also reported that some were denied passage after they refused to become collaborators.Human Rights Watch says that since June at least three seriously ill Palestinians have died after they were turned back at Erez, the sole crossing between Gaza and Israel, for unspecified security reasons.

…The Israeli branch of Physicians for Human Rights says that since June it has intervened in the cases of 138 seriously ill men, women and children who were turned back at Erez for unspecified security reasons.In 52 of these cases the security objections were subsequently withdrawn, sometimes after the physicians’ group had threatened court proceedings against the security services.Human Rights Watch sets the interrogation and blocking of gravely ill Palestinians in the context of Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, which intensified after the militant group Hamas took control in June. “Israel is punishing sick civilians as a way to hurt Hamas, and that’s legally and morally wrong,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East division.

…She said Israel had legitimate security concerns but – referring to one of six such cases it identified this week – “denying medical treatment to a 16-year-old girl with a congenital heart defect doesn’t make Israel any safer”.


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